Netrin and netrin receptor expression in the embryonic mammalian nervous system suggests roles in retinal, striatal, nigral, and cerebellar development

Mol Cell Neurosci. 1997;8(6):417-29. doi: 10.1006/mcne.1997.0598.


The netrins are laminin-like axon guidance molecules that are conserved among Caenorhabditis elegans, Drosophila, and vertebrates and that have chemoattractive and chemorepellant properties. To study the possible actions of this gene family in the developing and adult mammalian nervous systems, we have cloned a partial cDNA which corresponds to a region conserved among chick netrin-1, netrin-2, and unc-6 and studied its expression and that of a netrin receptor, dcc, the deleted in colorectal cancer gene, in the developing and adult rat CNS. The localization of cells expressing netrin or dcc suggests that these genes, in addition to their actions in defining the ventral midline, may act in controlling retinal ganglion cell axon guidance in the optic nerve, cell migration in the developing cerebellum and olfactory epithelium, and development and maintenance of connections to the substantia nigra and corpus striatum.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aging / physiology*
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn / growth & development
  • Base Sequence
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins*
  • Cerebellum / embryology
  • Cerebellum / growth & development
  • Corpus Striatum / embryology
  • Corpus Striatum / growth & development
  • DNA, Complementary / genetics
  • Embryo, Mammalian / physiology*
  • Embryonic and Fetal Development
  • Helminth Proteins / genetics
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nerve Growth Factors / physiology*
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins*
  • Nervous System / embryology*
  • Nervous System / growth & development*
  • Netrin Receptors
  • Netrin-1
  • Netrins
  • Rats / embryology
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / genetics
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / physiology*
  • Retina / embryology
  • Retina / growth & development
  • Substantia Nigra / embryology
  • Substantia Nigra / growth & development
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins


  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins
  • DNA, Complementary
  • Helminth Proteins
  • Nerve Growth Factors
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Netrin Receptors
  • Netrins
  • Ntn1 protein, rat
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • UNC-6 protein, C elegans
  • Netrin-1

Associated data

  • GENBANK/Y11353